School admissions information for forces families

Hillingdon is committed to the Armed Forces Community Covenant principle, where no-one should experience any disadvantage in accessing council services, as a result of their serving in the armed forces.

The Schools Admissions Code 2021 sets out provisions to ensure that children of UK service personnel are not disadvantaged when applying for schools, as a result of their mobility. These were introduced as part of the government's Military Covenant. ​​​​

It is important to note that the provisions do not give automatic priority to service children over other children or guarantee that service children will get a place at a particular school.

If you are employed as UK Service Personnel (UK Armed Forces) or a Crown Servant returning from overseas and are applying for a school place in Hillingdon as a result of a posting, the local authority will consider your posting address, or unit postal address, when calculating distance measurements if you provide proof of posting (for example, a copy of the posting address assignment letter) with your application. Further to this, an admissions authority must allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area (as long as one is available), provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date. Admission authorities must not refuse to process an application and must not refuse a place solely because the family do not yet have an intended address, or do not yet live in the area. Where a place can be offered the admissions authority will hold a school offer open until you move to the area.

It is recommended that service families make an application as soon as it is known that they will be moving to minimise disruption for the child.

For infant schools, the School Admissions Code 2021 also allows service children to be considered as an exemption to the Infant Class Size Limit. However, admission can only be granted under this provision where the service child is first on the waiting list for a school place and the admission authority does not consider that an extra pupil would have a detrimental impact on the efficient use of resources or the provision of education. Decisions to allow excepted pupil status will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Where a school is oversubscribed, any offers must be made according to the oversubscription criteria of the individual school. Currently. there is one school in Hillingdon that gives priority to children of service families - Ruislip High School (secondary school).

Read each school's criteria in our  School admissions 2024 brochure (PDF) [2MB]

Our school placement and admissions team is happy to assist with any questions you may have regarding the application process. You can email our admissions team at

Page last updated: 26 May 2023